Suttons Beach Pavilion’s fate to be decided

Published 12:00pm 17 February 2023

Suttons Beach Pavilion’s fate to be decided
Words by Kylie Knight

Moreton Daily understands release of the final report into whether Redcliffe’s Suttons Beach Pavilion can be saved is imminent.

Moreton Bay Regional Council is expected to meet with the Suttons Beach Pavilion Preservation Group next week before the report is expected to be presented to council in March.

It follows a battle, which started in January 2022, when it was announced the structure would close and be demolished. Initial Council investigations revealed major building defects and concerns.

Since then, Moreton Bay Regional Council has ordered invasive testing to determine if the building can be restored. The site has been closed and fenced in the meantime.

If the report says the structure is beyond repair, Council will need to decide if a replica can be built on the site or if it needs to find another use for the land.

When news broke in 2022 that the structure could be demolished, there was public outcry and the Suttons Beach Pavilion Preservation Group was formed. It presented Council with more than 23,000 signatures calling for it to save the landmark in March 2022.

The group has led an intensive grassroots community campaign, with protest rallies at the site and an active Facebook page with almost 3000 members.

Suttons Beach Pavilion first opened as change rooms and a kiosk in the 1930s. Since then, it has been expanded and sections rebuilt. It is not heritage-listed but is considered a landmark on the Redcliffe peninsula.

In September, Mayor Peter Flannery said consultants were halfway through their investigations and the information, so far, was that there was significant deterioration of the buildings’ structural elements, sustainability and safety.

“This further investigation is an expensive exercise for ratepayers and Council is working hard to understand and explore all the options for this iconic building and the wider public space,” he said at the time.

“Once the final investigations are complete, we expect to provide the detail to the community in early 2023.”

Suttons Beach Pavilion’s fate to be decided

Constructive dialogue

Suttons Beach Pavilion Preservation Group (SBPPG) President Jodie Starr said the group was looking forward to meeting with council for the update next week.

“As with all our previous meetings with the Council, SBPPG is expecting a positive, constructive, and informative meeting. We expect an update on the testing results, a provisional plan moving forward and an idea of likely timelines,” she told Moreton Daily.

“We are going in with completely open minds- the council already know SBPPG’s views and expectations, so first off, our plan is to listen and then discuss. As with previous meetings we expect a good two-way discussion, and plenty of opportunity for our input.”

Ms Starr hoped to have a clearer understanding of the Council’s plans for the pavilion and the group’s role in its future after the meeting.

“We also will ensure that the community gets an update. We understand that, given that SBPPG may be getting an insight into the report before it is even presented to council (which we greatly appreciate), we may be limited in any immediate disclosure until Council has had time to digest it,” she explained.

“We are very keen however, given the community has a strong interest, to be able to release some kind of useful update, which may or may not be in the form of a joint statement with the Council.”

Suttons Beach Pavilion’s fate to be decided
Members of the Suttons Beach Pavilion Preservation Group hand the petition to Cr Karl Winchester in March, 2022.

Anxious wait

Ms Star said the group was excited that it would soon find out more about the future of Suttons Beach Pavilion.

“It is still an anxious wait, because although we expect that the Council will honour their commitment to restore or rebuild, we do know there will be many hurdles ahead to bring that to fruition,” she said.

“Part of our agenda is to establish how best the SBPPG can help overcome these potential obstacles and bring the pavilion back to the community and all the hospitality offerings it was famous for.

“SBPPG’s goals have not wavered. It is to pursue an outcome of restore or rebuild, with a view to the pavilion once again providing the hospitality options for food and drink that made this building such an icon and sought-after destination.”

Ms Starr thanked the group’s supporters for trusting it to be their voice on the issue.

“Despite lying empty for a year, it is far from forgotten and still very much loved, and the SBPPG will continue to work towards a happy outcome for our much-loved pavilion,” she said.

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